Vol. 32, No. 1 January, 2008
We do sincerely greet you in Jesus’ Name, and trust that this bright New Year will prove to be the best year for you, and for your family. We do not know what lies ahead. We do know that Christ is already there in the tomorrows and is waiting to call His Church home. Perhaps this is that very year. But until the time Christ calls us home, may He find each of us doing what we can for HIM.
We wish for each of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
In preparing a message for the New Year, I thought that I would emphasize the three-fold purpose of this Ministry as posted on the back page of every issue of the WILDERNESS:
1. To ENLIGHTEN the sinner as to his need of the Saviour.
2. To ENCOURAGE the believer to study the Word of God
3. To ENLIST the believer into the army for world evangelism.
I trust that each of us will have open minds, open eyes, and open hearts.
1. To ENLIGHTEN the sinner as to his need of the Saviour.
To ENLIGHTEN means “to illuminate”
“to give spiritual insight.” We want to illuminate the Person and Work of Christ, and to give spiritual insight to our needs. Here are some facts for you to consider, that is, if you do not know Christ.
(A). You need to be saved. Everyone needs to be saved. Saved from what? First, saved from the PENALTY of sin, and saved from the POWER of sin.
The PENALTY of sin is death. Physical death and spiritual death. Our father Adam disobeyed God and incurred a sinful nature. That sinful nature is passed on to all mankind. “Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Ro 5:12). Because of Adam’s sin, we all die. Because of Christ’s Sacrificial death and resurrection,
those who, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as Saviour are saved from sin’s PENALTY.
Faith in Christ will deliver anyone from the POWER of any sin that has man enslaved. Millions have been delivered.
(B). You cannot save yourself. “For by Grace are ye saved through Faith and that NOT of yourselves. It is the gift of
God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) We must receive
God’s offer of Salvation as a FREE
(C). Christ alone can save you. There are not “many” salvations. There is but one way to God. That is, through Jesus Christ. “Neither is there Salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby ye must be saved.” (Acts 4:12).
(D). While you have this moment, while the Holy Spirit may be speaking to your heart, just open your heart’s door and ask Christ for His forgiveness. Tell Him in the best way you can that you receive Him. That you accept His Sacrifice for your sin and His offer of Eternal life. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name. Tell Him that you receive Him. “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Now, the first of the three-fold purposes of this ministry is to publish the good news of Salvation to as many as we can, while we can.
2. To ENCOURAGE the believer to study the Word of God.
I am amazed at the Biblical ignorance of today. With all of our resources, Bibles, books, tapes, etc, this should not be. First, I am not trying to present myself as some scholar. I am a student of the Word. I try to encourage every Christian to become students. Heresy and false doctrine abound today. Listen carefully at what is being preached over the airways today. As I said, heresy abounds today. Now, in the first place, in order to study the Word, we must know what the Word of God is. I urge everyone NOT to be taken in by the flood of new “Bibles” on the market today. There is but ONE, PERFECT, PRESERVED Text. Of course, by now, most of you know that I am referring to the Old King James Bible. God gave the English speaking people of the world this Bible. This has been the Monarch of Books for almost 400 years. There is nothing wrong with this book. It needs no updating or modernizing. The Holy Spirit is the Author and Teacher. Do not get the idea that the over 200 “versions” on the market today are simply modern up-dates of the King James Bible. THEY ARE NOT! They come from a different text altogether! A text born some 125 years ago. This is the Critical Text of the late 19th century, and NOT the Received Text passed on through the centuries. Preachers and teachers today will tell their listeners that they believe the bible is the inspired word of God, but then, in their next breath, THEY CORRECT IT. You hear it all the time; “That’s a bad translation, the GREEK says…” There is nothing wrong with your bible (KJV). I urge all of our readers to just listen carefully at what is being said. Heresy and false doctrine abound today. The Bible itself warned us that in the “latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” (1Tim 4:10) “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. And they shall turn their ears away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”(2Tim 4:3-4). The thought of God giving us a Perfect Bible is just too much for some to handle.
Again, in order to study the Word, we must make up our mind as to what the Word is. I wish to encourage every reader to STUDY the Word. Become a student. Learn to recognize truth from error, the truth from the false. Especially the TV “ministries” of today, most of which make up their doctrine as they go, and change when the wind changes.
3. To ENLIST the believer into the Army for world evangelism. This Ministry has been dedicated to the cause of evangelism since it’s inception. We wish to encourage, to enlist every believer to become involved in the spreading of the Gospel message. Think of the many means of communication available today. However, nothing will ever take the place of one believer telling a lost sinner about Jesus Christ. Evangelism is everybody’s business, Evangelism is your business, Evangelism is our business. Evangelism is MY business. I feel sure that most are aware of the various statistics about what portion of the world’s population has never heard the Gospel. Perhaps billions. I believe that this Ministry is worthy of both your prayers, and support. We have not changed one iota over the years, nor do we plan to change. In the year 2007, God allowed us to go into over 260 countries of the world via the printed page, the internet, and Broadcast ministry. Our Prison Ministry continues to touch lives of inmates. Our Gospel Tracts have been offered at no charge for over 40 years, and we have been able to help some Pastors in Africa in supplying Bibles, Tracts, etc. The harvest is out there, waiting for me and you. Let’s join hearts and minds together for the cause of world evangelism. One of us can do something. Two of us can do twice as much, etc. I trust that this New Year will open doors that we are not aware of. I trust that we will be able to take the Gospel of Christ further, to more people, and be a help to the children of God who wish to do more for God.
For the days ahead, for the New Year, we will keep on, ENLIGHTENING the sinner, ENCOURAGING the Saints,
And ENLISTING the Soldiers.
“BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US”
Wandering through the WILDERNESS…. At the close of a year, I would like to take some time here to answer some of your questions, and comments…
QUESTION….. “Are there Guardian Angels? Does each of us have one?”
DO NOT GIVE ANGELS CREDIT FOR THE WORK THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES.
Answer…I think not. I do not believe that there is sufficient Scripture to indicate such. I do not understand all I know about Angels. I am glad to share with you some of my opinion on the subject of angels. In my limited space in this Publication I cannot very well cover this subject. I am well aware that many, many out there will not agree with what I have to say, but that’s alright. You have the right to be wrong! Books by the thousands, both pro and con have been written on this subject. Personally, I have never seen an angel, and I would not know what an angel looked like, if I saw one. I am also well aware of the fact that we have been schooled to believe that we do have “guardian angels.” After this question was brought to me, and after listening to at least 4 preachers telling us about “guardian angels” and after listening to several lessons about “guardian angels” from Psalm 91, “He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psa 91:11), (Psalm 91 is Messianic, Mt. 4:6-7) I decided that I would give my opinion on this subject. Now, I am not trying to change anybody’s mind, and I am not introducing something new, for many believe just like I do on this subject.
One of the speakers I was listening to concerning Psa. 91, was stating various acts and “near miss” happenings. Something caused him to miss a fatal crash, or some other tragedy was in the way ahead and something made him to turn back, and several other things he attributed to angels or angelic influence.
Today, and since The Glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we have been living in the Dispensation of time known as the“Day of Grace” or the “Church Age.” This age is known in the Bible as a “MYSTERY”(Ro. 16:25, Eph. 3:3-5, 5:32, Col 1:26-27) This Dispensation of time was not known in the Old Testament. God deals with man in a different manner in this age.
A “Mystery” is like a “family secret” The family knows about it, but strangers do not. Today, God is calling from all nations a people for His Name, called The CHURCH. This “people” are the ones who have said Yes to Christ.
I counted the times angel, and angels is mentioned in the Bible, (Strong’s Concordance) The word angel(s) appears 292 times in the whole Bible. In the New Testament through the resurrection, the word appears 52 times. In the Church age, (today) the word angel appears 52 times. In the Tribulation period, the word appears 74 times. So, during the time we live in, the word appears 52 times. Of the 52 times, some refer to bad angels. Some are repeats from like passages. There was some angelic activity in the Book of Acts when the Nation of Israel was set aside, and the Church was being established. In the Book of Hebrews Paul tells us 11 times that Christ is better than the angels. I make mention of these only to state that in this Dispensation of time, there is no mention, no indication of any “guardian angel.”
Now, as you read your Bible, (KJV) you will find that God has dealt with ISRAEL through angelic mediation of various kinds. When you read about angels, think about ISRAEL.
The function of angels of old is now met by the indwelling Christ in the New Testament believer. Colossians 2:18 warns us about the worship of angels. Today, God deals with the CHURCH through THE HOLY SPIRIT, and not with angels. When Christ comes for His Church, He will come personally. The angelic voice of 1Thess 4:16 will be His voice, (Rev. 4:1). Some will say, “But the Bible says in 2Thess 1:7 that Christ comes WITH angels.” That passage is speaking about when Christ comes back to earth at the end of the Tribulation period, He will come at that time with angelic forces and the Heavenly host to set up His Kingdom. That is His VISIBLE RETURN. When He comes in the Rapture, it is secret, and sudden. After the rapture of the Church, When God gets ready to call ISRAEL back to the land, and to deal with the nations, He will send ANGELS, (Rev. chs 6-20).
Now let’s give angels credit where credit is due. They are God’s Ministering servants. They do His bidding, primarily with ISRAEL. I can hear some say now; “but an angel appeared here, or there, and many reports of angels over the years.” I do not know, I was not there. I do not know what was seen by whom. I can only give you what I believe the Bible says.
But let us not give angels credit for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives… The Holy Spirit is our Friend, closer than a brother. He is our Guide, our Teacher, our Comforter, our Protector, our Corrector, our Interceder, our Reminder, our Illuminator, our keeper, our Sealer, our Lawyer, and a thousand other things. He, who lives in us, can do far more for us than angels can. Angels know nothing about the Wonderful Works of The Holy Spirit. He does what no “guardian angel could ever do.
MY FRIEND WHO LIVES INSIDE
By Pastor George Mills
“For He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.”
I Have a Friend, who lives inside,
He is with me each step of the way,
To be my Reprover, and my path to maneuver,
And to be my Guide day by day.
I have a Friend, who lives inside,
Who is closer than any brother,
He lightens my way, and His Word is my stay,
And He teaches to love one another.
He tells me of Christ and of His Great Love,
His comfort and guiding I see,
In Truth He does lead, for He knows what I need,
And His Truth just sets me free.
I have a Friend to be with me,
When lonely paths I find,
With His comforting hand, in each barren land,
He strengthens, and settles my mind.
I have a Friend, who lives within,
He is my Shepherd and my Guide,
He will lead safely home, when my work is done,
My FRIEND who lives inside.
(the WILDERNESS, October 2006)
DON’T GIVE ANGELS CREDIT FOR THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Did you ever notice the many subtle ways that Christ and the Holy Spirit are in some ways replaced in the minds and thinking of man?
2. DON’T GIVE MAN CREDIT FOR THE WORK ANGELS WILL DO…
Today, many organizations are very active in raising funds, and trying to prepare the land of Israel for the return of the Jews. Almost daily I receive some kind of request for help for Israel. They are busy trying to “Help God” in bringing the Jews back. I do not believe that God will need our help when He begins to move. God told the Jewish people that He, GOD, will scatter the Jews all over the world. God also said that He, GOD, will bring them back. After the Rapture of the Church, The Gospel of the KINGDOM will be preached to the world, (Mt 24:14-51).
(This is NOT the Gospel of Grace we preach today). God will send angels with trumpets to gather His elect (Israel) from the four winds. This will be God’s fulfillment of many Old Testament prophesies concerning Israel. Now, I am for the Jewish people. I am for helping them in any way we can.
I am for the Jewish people. Baptists have always had Jewish Missions outreaches. I am for helping any people who need our help. But the return of Israel is God’s business, in God’s time. He will use angels. He will not need any help. He will not have to wait for a vote of the United Nations, nor a decree from any earthly President or king.
3. DON’T GIVE MAN CREDIT FOR THE WORK THAT CHRIST WILL DO. Just to add this footnote. I was listening to another TV Charlatan. He was speaking about the return of Christ. His plea for money was, “Send us liberal offerings to help FINANCE THE RETURN OF CHRIST.” May I say to you that there are not enough funds in the treasuries of men to do what Christ will do when He descends with His shout and calls His Church home. He does not need our help.
He does need our help in spreading the Gospel of GRACE to a world lost in sin!
4. ANOTHER QUESTION ON A RELATED SUBJECT… “WILL THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH SIGNAL THE BEGINNING OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION PERIOD?”
Again, you will get a variety of answers here. Many books have been written about this also. I will give you what I believe the Bible teaches.
(A) The Rapture will signal the end of the preaching of the Gospel of GRACE.
(B) The Rapture will signal the end of the Church age.
(C) The Rapture will signal Gods dealing with the nations as He stated in many Old Testament prophesies.
First, let me try to define the Tribulation Period. I believe that this period is a seven year period of time, divided into two equal three and one half year periods. This is the seven year pact with Israel as given in Daniel 9:27. The first half of the seven years is known as the Tribulation Period. The second half is known as the Great Tribulation period. The first half of this period seems to be a time of “shaky” peace. The second half will be a time so horrible that “except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved.”
Personally, I believe that there is an unknown period of time between the rapture of the Church and the beginning of the seven year Tribulation period. Many say that the Tribulation will begin immediately after the rapture. They say that the antichrist will sign a seven year peace pact with Israel almost immediately after the Rapture. That is alright. I was taught that. My only problem with that now is that I believe there are so many things that will have to happen after the rapture, I just believe that there will be some time between the rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation. Just suppose that Jesus were to come for His Church today. I have always believed and preached that His coming is imminent, that He could come at any time. He could have returned at any time in history. “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Suppose that were to happen today. Look at the things that would have to take place on earth, in the next three and one half years. The Jewish people would be coming home, the antichrist would be rising to world supremacy, and the Temple in Jerusalem would have to be rebuilt. Israel will see the antichrist and will have to make their decision about him. The world economy would have to be changed drastically. Armies of the world would have to be repositioned. So many more things would have to happen that I just believe that all could not take place in just three and one half years. I believe that the one thing that signals the beginning of the Great Tribulation, (second half) is the betrayal of this seven year peace agreement with Israel by the antichrist, (Dan. 9:27) At the signing of that peace pact, the antichrist will have risen to world leadership, solved many financial problems, food distribution problems, and promote his lie about the rapture, and more. He would have deceived much of the world before the signing of the peace agreement. I believe that all of these things would take some time. When the antichrist enters the rebuilt Temple and demands to be worshipped as God, (Dan. 9:27, Mt 24:15, 2Thess 2:1-12), that signals the beginning of the Great Tribulation period, or, the second half of the seven years.
Again, it is my personal opinion that there is an undetermined period of time between the rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation period. How much time? I do not know. I do know that the Church will have been “caught up” to be with our Lord, safe and secure in His Presence, forever!
Now, I trust that these things will sharpen our appetites for Bible study. There are far too many things in these subjects to cover in my short space. I trust that you love Jesus and His finished work of Redemption. Then, when we all get to Heaven, you will find out that I was right all the time. Ha! God Bless.
We cannot say THANK YOU enough for your letters, your calls, your kind words, and gifts for this Ministry. It is always a joy to go to the mail box and find a letter from you, or to answer the phone and hear your voice of kindness. As MANNA sustained the Israelites in the wilderness, your support sustains this Ministry. Thanks for everything in 2007. Now, let’s have a GREAT, 2008!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
A YEAR TO REMEMBER
Another year has come and gone and I trust you have some wonderful, happy memories of the past year. Good health, fun times with the family, fellowship with friends, and most of all, times of sharing the Gospel with others. The opportunities we were given last year will never return again. The year has come and gone and it’s opportunities have disappeared with it. We have a new year and it can be a year to remember. You can make it so. You can use it to accomplish much for Christ, and try to enjoy each day to the fullest. Read God’s Word, spend time in prayer, and set out to help others. Determine in your heart to share the good news of the Gospel with others. Be thankful, work hard, laugh lots, play with the kids, love unconditionally and I promise you will have a year to remember at the close of 2008.
“Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness…” (Psa. 65:11)
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Dear Reader…Trusting that you will enjoy this edition of the WILDERNESS.
The WILDERNESS mail list is made up from several different ways…
1. From friends of this Ministry made over the years since the beginning of this Ministry.
2. At your own request your name has been added.
3. Someone else submitted your name to be added.
4. In response to your mail to us. If we get mail from you, then you get mail from us. Of course, this does not apply to company advertisements.
5. We feel impressed to send a copy to every known Independent Baptist Church in our area.
6. If you choose not to be added to our mail list, please advise us and your name will be removed.
7. If you change your address, please let us know.
Our Stand, our Purpose, our Aim is clearly stated in every issue.
NOW, LET’S HAVE A GREAT,
TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT!